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This series of modules will advance your understanding of Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products and related therapies to the point of confidently operating with them.

The Academy of Medical Cannabis provides an expansive and deep education in Cannabis-Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs) and their related therapies. By working through our series of modules, you will be preparing yourself to actively consult with patients around these medicines, and where appropriate write prescriptions with the necessary grounding of knowledge and understanding.

You will need to continually refresh and update this training, in line with the requirements for medical practitioners of every school of medicine. Emerging research and continued developments will also allow us to proactively grow our content in real time.

  • 12 bitesize modules for all healthcare professionals
  • 8 CPD Credits
  • Cost: FREE

The early medicinal history of cannabis, its journey from origination, and the eventual road to prohibition.

As a warm up to our course, we start with the history of cannabis. This might seem like a somewhat non-medicinal approach, but the history of cannabis is as much a history of medicine as it is anything else. Records of the medicinal properties and applications of cannabis are millennia old, with the earliest examples of human use of cannabis and its by-products stretching back beyond 10,000 BC.

By understanding the history of cannabis as a medicine, you can begin to demystify some of the decade’s worth of misconceptions around the substance. And, in comprehending the series of global movements that led to the prohibition of cannabis, you will also likely come to appreciate a vital fact – its more recent status as a controlled drug never had much to do with science or medicine at all.

Analysis of the complex organic cannabis plant and its various biological and chemical properties.

A lot of people think they know something about cannabis. The self-proclaimed experts have probably tried to tell you all about the famous THC and CBD. There are, however, over 100 different cannabinoids, each with different properties, effects and benefits. It’s extremely important that clinicians have an in-depth knowledge of the biochemistry of the cannabis plant.

As more research is undertaken, it’s highly likely we’ll be able to refine our understanding of these many different compounds and how best to utilise them in various therapies. Of course, this subject goes even further. Trichomes, terpenes, sterols, flavonoids and more are all key aspects of the cannabis plant, and you need to know them all.

An up-to-date study of the human body’s network of receptors, synapses and other neurotransmitters that naturally interact with cannabinoids.

Certain clinicians have tremendous enthusiasm for the therapeutic potential of cannabis-based medicinal products. Much of this is due to the human body’s own system of synapses and neurotransmitters that naturally interact with not only the phytocannabinoids found externally in the cannabis plant… but also with the endocannabinoids synthesized entirely naturally within the human body.

Indeed, it is true. Cannabinoids are as natural to cannabis as they are to the human body. Through more research and understanding of the endocannabinoid system, it’s believed we may be able to unlock some remarkable therapeutic discoveries.

Clear guidance on the numerous methods of preparation and ingestion of the various physical forms of cannabis-based medicines.

There’s a considerable difference between recreational and medicinal methods of administering cannabis medicines. In some cases, it’s the difference between being on the right or the wrong side of medicine and the law. Knowing what the best delivery systems are for different conditions, not to mention which systems need to be avoided altogether, is important for doctors.

If you thought the difference was simply down to style or preference, you’d be wrong. Why might vaping be a better idea than edibles? What are the different levels of cannabinoid bioavailability between an oral capsule or a mucosal spray? What do you do if your patient suggests they just want to smoke joints?

An introduction to the use of medicinal cannabis for a range of neurological indications.

Some of the most effective therapies that cannabis-based medicinal products can be applied towards are a set of prevalent neurological indications. From spasticity to other symptoms related to epilepsy, for chronic pain and a host of movement disorders, there’s a moderate to even strong case for the application of CBMPs, primarily for symptom relief.

Knowing what this range of indications is will be of great importance for clinicians in order for them to effectively and safely apply cannabis medicines.

An introduction to the range of possible medicinal cannabis applications towards mental health issues.

While certain cannabinoids are psychoactive, contrary to a broad public misconception cannabis can be effectively used to help treat a number of conditions relating to mental health. Within this area, some of the most common areas of inquiry from patients seeking cannabis-based therapies are for PTSD, dementia and depression.

This module is especially critical for understanding some key differences between recreational substances and habits, and properly applied cannabis-based medicines that are targeted and dosed in a controlled, clinical manner. While misuse of cannabis is known to be linked to some of these very conditions, proper medical use can help treat them.

A full accounting of the known and suspected possible short term adverse side effects associated with CBMPs.

There are numerous other indications of conditions that are all important for clinicians to have a full understanding of. Cannabis-based medicinal products can be useful in the treatment of nausea & vomiting, appetite issues, gastrointestinal problems, sleep difficulties and many more symptoms.

With a fully developed knowledge of these symptoms, clinicians will be better able to help their patients. As more research is undertaken in the broadly more deregulated global environment for cannabis-based medicinal products, it’s more than likely we will discover even more therapeutic possibilities.

A full accounting of the known and suspected possible short term adverse side effects associated with CBMPs.

Responsibly counselling patients on all of the potential side effects of cannabis-based medicinal products is critical. One of the common inquiries of patients considering cannabis therapies is in wanting to know that these medicines won’t bring with them the associated “highs” of recreational substances.

Depending on the specific type of cannabis medicine, and to an extent the delivery method, patients may experience varying short term side effects. While usually mild, being able to describe these side effects and their expected duration to patients so they can reasonably anticipate their therapeutic experience is important.

A full accounting of the known and suspected possible long term adverse side effects associated with CBMPs.

As with almost all forms of medication, sustained use of cannabis-based medicinal products can carry with them some associated long term effects. If a more expansive duration of therapy is required, such as in the case of chronic pain conditions, patients need to be able to understand what to expect.

Of note, clinicians must be able to counsel their patients on the different associated long term side effects of CBD versus THC-containing cannabis-medicinal products.

Detailed analysis of the known and suspected drug interactions, beneficial and adverse, relevant to CBMPs.

Cannabis has a broadly strong risk-benefit profile, with relatively mild short and long term effects and relatively few drug interactions of particular concern. Yet, as with every medicine, it’s immensely important for clinicians to understand what drugs cannabis-based medicinal products may interact with.

The primary issue of concern is in the various upregulating and downregulating effects that cannabinoids have on a range of cytochrome behaviours. Cytochromes are important in the metabolization of both cannabinoids and a number of other pharmaceutical drugs, and you will learn all about these here.

Useable operational guidelines for the prescribing and dosing of CBMPs for patients.

How to dose and prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products is absolutely fundamental to any education in the field. Giving patients access to these medicines in order to better help them where possible is the entire purpose of the Academy.

Applying extensive clinical experience from the more developed nations in terms of cannabis medicines, such as Canada, the USA and Israel, we have built an effective and safe set of guidelines for dosing and prescribing cannabis-based medicinal products. Starting with the broadly accepted principles of “start low, go slow” and providing measurements for upwards titration, for both CBD and THC-containing products, this essential knowledge.

Fully updated information on the legal and regulatory landscape of every country the Academy is offering teaching in.

To complete the foundation course, we guide you through the respective policy and regulatory landscape particular to each nation where cannabis-based medicinal products have become available.

For decades, most countries erroneously treated cannabis as a dangerous narcotic. Aside from arresting vast amounts of potentially vital research, in many countries the situation with regards to cannabis-based medicines remains complex, even as they begin or continue to deregulate.

It goes without saying that, even as we discover more about cannabis’ medicinal value, it’s of paramount importance that clinicians operate with the correct boundaries of their national laws.

A thorough testing of the knowledge you’ve gained through this course. Successful completion of this exam is required in order to receive CPD accreditation.

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  • An introductory primer to the core areas of clinical and patient concern around medical cannabis.
  • CPD Credits Pending
  • Cost: FREE

Introducing the core principles of the cannabis plant, cannabinoids and key clinical factors like consulting, indications, dosing, prescribing, side effects, contraindications and drug interactions, this is the essential medical cannabis guide.

Across the world in recent years, medical cannabis has reemerged in its proper clinical context. Understanding at least the basics of this newly available therapeutic option is essential. This compact module details the origins of cannabis as a medicine and its journey to worldwide prohibition. The biochemistry of the cannabis plant and its varied properties are explored, along with the human endocannabinoid system and its mechanics.

Consultation guidelines including indications, interactions, side effects and dosing and administration guidance are also provided. And critically for the users of medical cannabis products, we provide some legal advice for patients to avoid liability in common scenarios like work and travel.

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  • Advanced learning for prescribing medical cannabis for chronic pain conditions
  • 2 CPD Credits
  • Cost: £80

An introduction to the advanced principles of chronic pain management. Learn the mechanics of chronic pain and how cannabis-based medicines are effective in treating it.

The most common conditions or symptoms around which patients seek consultation on cannabis-based medicinal products is chronic pain.

In regular function, acute and subchronic pain is the brain’s mechanism for warning us that something is wrong and the body is at risk of, or is, receiving damage and preventative action should be taken.

Chronic pain, however, is an example of maladaptation where pain signals no longer have a useful biological function. Long term injury, nerve damage and a variety of inflammatory conditions can present with persistent pain that serves no useful endpoint.

In this module, you will gain an advanced depth of knowledge in how to diagnose and treat with cannabis-based medicines a number of chronic pain conditions. You will learn about the mechanisms of pain and how cannabinoids work to alleviate nociceptive and neuropathic pain issues.

Of exceptional importance, you will also learn why cannabis is starting to be regarded as a preferable first-line alternative to opioid-based pain killers.

  • Advanced learning for prescribing medical cannabis for anxiety & depression management
  • CPD Credits Pending
  • Cost: £80

Anxiety and depression are two of the most commonly reported psychiatric conditions among general populations, with around one in five individuals suffering from these conditions during their lives.

These conditions, more so than chronic pain, are actually the leading causes of disability worldwide. Almost 75% of people with mental disorders remain untreated in developing countries, with almost 1 million people taking their lives each year.

In this module, we guide you through a range of symptoms and pathologies, and detail some of the more commonly observed psychiatric issues, from OCD to bipolar and Tourette’s. We review some traditional treatment options and then introduce a series of points of evidence that support the potential use of CBMPs for certain conditions.

Rounding off the module are some practical clinical operating points with regards to Anxiety & Depression management with CBMPs.

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  • Advanced learning for prescribing medical cannabis for PTSD
  • CPD Credits Pending
  • Cost: £80

PTSD is a maladaptive response to a traumatic experience that can be severely disabling, and can result in a range of symptoms. It the leading psychiatric issue among patients inquiring after cannabis therapies.

Many people with PTSD use cannabis to regulate their symptoms, notably among former military servicemen to aid sleep, and it was partly through observations of these use trends that investigations into cannabis as a therapy for PTSD were encouraged.

In this module we look at the progression of research into cannabinoids used for PTSD, from bench research through to human trials, and describe the known mechanisms for how cannabinoids are thought to be able to treat it.

Supplemented by the direct clinical experience of doctors operating closely with this and other psychiatric conditions, we provide a clear overview of the potential of cannabis for treating PTSD.

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  • Advanced learning targeted at GPs and other Primary Care providers
  • 1 CPD Credit
  • Cost: £40

GPs occupy a particular role within the body of clinicians. Here we will go into specific detail as to what concerns should drive a GPs understanding of cannabis-based medicines, and how to operate with them.

General practitioners are arguably the first line of inquiry for most patients. As primary care providers, they are required to have an extremely broad base of medical knowledge in order to diagnose and treat conditions, and potentially refer patients towards specialists.

In this capacity, GPs can expect to have to respond to any number of issues, and will likely be taking on a lot of cannabis-specific questions as more patients become aware of cannabis-based therapies, and as the general field is further destigmatized.

Knowing what conditions and symptoms can be treated with cannabis medicines and how to dose and prescribe them is critical. Being able to discuss recreational drug usage, take histories in relation to cannabis use, assess contraindications and generally operate around cannabis with a high degree of literacy will be essential for GPs and other Primary Care providers.

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  • Advanced learning targeted at CCD management
  • CPD Credits Pending
  • Cost: £80

Many patients seeking cannabis medicines to help with symptom management fall into the category of complex chronic disease (CCD). These patients are, by definition, complex and have multiple overlapping medical problems of a chronic nature that are often difficult to treat and manage.

Patients with CCD often have unique needs, medical complexities, more complex medication regimens and functional limitations that can affect every aspect of their care and quality of life.

Complex care patients are very challenging to manage clinically, with fragmentation of their care, despite good care in each individual area or specialty, being common.

This can lead to polypharmacy, which itself may put patients at increased risk, and poorer outcomes globally with respect to quality of life and a sense of powerlessness on behalf of the patient, in addition to patient confusion about how to take complex medication regimens leading to poor compliance.

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  • Advanced learning targeted at Pharmacists
  • 3 CPD Credits
  • Cost: £80

Similar to GPs, pharmacists are often the first point of contact for patients seeking medical information. Here we provide a tailored course for pharmacists to best address their unique challenges.

Along with GPs, pharmacists occupy one of the most frequently accessed points of inquiry for patients. And much like GPs, pharmacists can expect to have to respond to any number of issues, and will likely be taking on a lot of cannabis-specific questions as more patients become aware of cannabis-based therapies, and as the general field is further destigmatized.

Pharmacists will need to have much of the same knowledge base as Primary Care providers with regards to diagnosing conditions and prescribing cannabis-based therapies. Being able to counsel patients on side effects and drug interactions, advise them on recreational usage and provide guidance on the storage and administration of cannabis medicines will likely all be important to the pharmacist.

And as a general point of inquiry, it will be also be useful for pharmacists to understand the broader policy and regulatory environment within their respective nation. Discussing with patients their own liabilities in keeping and using medicinal cannabis, which is in most countries is still a relatively controlled substance as compared to many other medicines, will help avoid unnecessary legal issues.

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  • Advanced guidance for effective and safe prescribing of CBMPs
  • 4 CPD Credits
  • Cost: £120

A detailed practical guide on the dosing & prescribing of CBMPs for patients of different demographics and with varying indications.

Supported by clinicians with years of experience in operating with CBMPs in evolved healthcare markets like Canada, this guide represents a thorough basis upon which any clinician should be able to understand and begin prescribing.

This module directly addresses one of the core concerns for many clinicians being asked to consider CBMPs for or by their patients. A basic lack of knowledge of how to dose and prescribe in order to achieve effective clinical outcomes has been a significant obstacle for what, in professional healthcare terms, is still a novel medicinal substance.

Learn how to calculate and titrate dosing, how to administer and how to consider co-administration, drug interactions and many other concerns. This module is essential learning.

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  • An in-depth study of the Evidence Base for CBMPs
  • CPD Credits Pending
  • Cost: £40

A fundamental aspect of modern medicine is the requirement of evidence, derived from well-designed and well-conducted research, to support the use or application of any medicinal substance or other form of therapy as an effective and safe means by which to treat an illness or condition.

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is now the foremost standard involved in determining how recommendable a medicinal substance can be. Involving rigours such as meta-analysis, systematic reviews and randomised control trials, it is a more demanding standard than any prior empirical standard.

But confronted with the issue of cannabis, EBM comes under greater scrutiny, and requires careful thought. While these rigors serve to provide the most acceptable risk to benefit profile as possible, there are clear arguments to suggest that in some areas it is overly prohibitive.

Here we discuss the tenets of EBM, and how they might potentially better accommodate the unique properties, in addition to the alternative points of evidence, as presented by cannabis as a medicinal substance.

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  • Advanced guidance on Herbal Medicine supplements
  • CPD Credits Pending
  • Cost: £80

A precursor to the relatively sudden global evolution on cannabis as a medicine has been the surge in CBD-related commercial activity, which requires proper understanding.

CBD is now ubiquitous, being adopted across the board and found in any number of retail products, from snack bars, to health supplements and even ice cream. Without even contemplating the vast potential of cannabis by-products like hemp, it seems that for at least the moment, CBD is on the forefront of this movement in cannabis, and is here to stay.

Clinicians need to be clear, though. Retail CBD is not classified as a medicine and it should never be suggested that it can have medicinal benefits. There are numerous points of sensitivity in this emerging market that clinicians need to be literate in, so as to better serve their patients and avoid unnecessary liability.

In this module we provide some clear guidance on how to discuss CBD wellness with your patients, and we have a look at some of the non-medicinal substances that are commonly seen in this space.

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  • Elderly patients are a significant demographic making inquiries about medical cannabis.
  • CPD Credits Pending
  • Cost: £40

Elderly patients are a significant cohort making inquiries about medical cannabis as accessibility to it increases.

Medical cannabis is well-tolerated in people age 75 and older and may improve a range of commonly observed symptoms that occur with ageing, like chronic pain and anxiety. The trend among seniors using medical cannabis is on a remarkable increase, with numbers exponentially increasing in the last couple of decades.

Whether alleviating arthritis or low back pain, improving appetite or even providing direct relief for conditions like glaucoma, it is important for clinicians to understand how elderly patients can experience notable improvements to quality of life with cannabis.

This module will discuss the commonly observed conditions for which cannabis is used to assist in geriatric therapy, including some practical clinical guidance.

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  • Movement Disorders include several indications for which the application of medical cannabis is moderately well supported
  • CPD Credits Pending
  • Cost: £40

An introduction to the spectrum of common movement disorders, their pathophysiologies and identified pharmacodynamics of medical cannabis towards their treatment.

Movement disorders encompass a range of indications, some of which have been closely investigated for the potential of medical cannabis treatments. Included in this scope are well known conditions like MS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Tourette’s, and in this module we investigate the current study situation for these, and others, around medical cannabis.

We have a limited degree of evidence of the mechanics of medical cannabis in treating different movement disorders, and it’s important to understand which conditions there is a moderate basis for medical cannabis treatment, and which areas require more investigation.

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  • A balanced review of the potential of medical cannabis in palliative and oncology scenarios
  • CPD Credits Pending
  • Cost: £40

Medical cannabis is reasonably well supported for use in symptom management in palliative care scenarios, including cancer care. There are some nascent lines of investigation around the anti-tumour potential of cannabinoids.

Palliative care is not just for those who are terminally ill or dying. Palliative treatment is designed to relieve symptoms, and improve the quality of life. It can be used at any stage of an illness if there are troubling symptoms, such as pain or sickness.

Palliative care in terminal scenarios should help a patient to live as well as possible until they die, and to die with dignity, mitigating life-limiting diseases.

Cancer care scenarios are a notable component of palliative care, and here we also look specifically at the application of medical cannabis in oncology, focusing mainly on symptom management. There is some additional review of the current study situation around the anti-tumour potential of cannabis, which is an area that requires much deeper levels of research.

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